In terms of IT security, a mantrap is best described by one of the following statements.
A mantrap is a floor with a sticky material meant to trap would-be intruders by restricting the ability of movement, allowing for IT security staff to remove intruders at a later time and humanely dispose of or release them into the wild
A mantrap is a spring-loaded device that it sometimes baited with fine cheeses or savory snacks, meant to ensnare and sever the spinal cord of hungry Blackhat hackers
A mantrap is a set of doors separated by a hallway and access control devices that precludes individuals from accessing one door without access control requirements being met
A mantrap is a fall-away floor with large, sharpened spikes at the bottom of a pit to prevent unauthorized access to secure rooms by both humans and bears
A mantrap is often used to secure server rooms, distribution closets or IT resources that may be susceptible to attack by tailgaters.
A mantrap, airlock, sally port or access control vestibule is a physical security access control system comprising a small space with two sets of interlocking doors, such that the first set of doors must close before the second set opens. Airlocks have a very similar design, allowing free ingress and egress while also restricting airflow.
In a manual mantrap, a guard locks and unlocks each door in sequence. An intercom and/or video camera are often used to allow the guard to control the trap from a remote location.
In an automatic mantrap, identification may be required for each door, sometimes even different measures for each door. For example, a key may open the first door, but a personal identification number entered on a number pad opens the second. Other methods of opening doors include proximity cards or biometric devices such as fingerprint readers or iris recognition scans.
Metal detectors are often built in to prevent the entrance of people carrying weapons. This use is particularly frequent in banks and jewelry shops.
Fire codes require that automatic mantraps allow exit from the intermediate space while denying access to a secure space such as a data center or research lab. A manually-operated mantrap may allow a guard to lock both doors, trapping a suspect between the doors for questioning or detainment.